Seven killed, 132,000 flee worst Malaysia floods in decades
Kuala Lumpur: At least seven people have been killed and over 132,000 fled their homes in one of the worst floods in Malaysia’s history as authorities struggled in their rescue efforts amid power outages and destruction of roads.
Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday announced additional funds to help flood victims nationwide after landslides, road blocks and swirling waters enveloped the country’s eight states.
Weather office, meanwhile, indicated that there will be no respite in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang states in coming days.
Razak reached Kelantan to assess flood emergency operations on Saturday after cutting short his holiday in the US. He announced an additional allocation of USD 143 million to help flood victims nationwide that will be administered by the National Security Council.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin admitted rescuers were facing challenges with power outages and roads being washed away by the floods.
“I admit the situation is challenging to the rescue workers and we are trying our best to make sure that the food arrives to the victims depending on the flood situation,” deputy premier Muhyiddin Tassin said.
Hundreds of thousands of people have sought shelter in schools, community halls and other relief centres, according to flood monitoring centres.
The country’s citizens were upset with Razak for going on holidays in Hawaii, where he was seen golfing with US President Barack Obama.
The floods took a turn for the worse in Kelantan today sending 81,925 people to relief centres while the situation in Kedah state continued to improve.
Kelantan Welfare Department director Nik Omar Nik Abdul Rahman said all the evacuees, from about 20,177 families, were being housed at 254 relief centres throughout the state. Several stretches were flooded and only four-wheel-drive vehicles could pass.
In Kedah, 13 flood evacuees were allowed to go their homes while in Terangganu, more than 35,000 people still remained at relief centres. In Pahang, the number of evacuees shot past
The death toll in the flood, meanwhile, reached seven with the authorities recovering two more bodies on Saturday. The body of a man who went missing with his wife when a boat capsized during evacuation on Wednesday was found in Kampung Geliga Che Akob area. It was noticed caught in a pile of wood during the search operation that entered in its fourth day on Saturday, police said.
Johor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, perlis, pahang and Perak states also are in the grip of floods. It is the country’s worst flooding in more than 30 years. Heavy rain is expected to continue until the weekend, the meteorological department has said.
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